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Paynesville Press - January 25, 2006

Stars score last-second goals to win

By Michael Jacobson

Senior Zach Johnson and junior Alex Naujokas scored in the last 30 seconds of the game as the River Lakes Stars boys' hockey team rallied for a 2-1 victory over St. Cloud Apollo on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

paul The Stars, after going scoreless for the first 50 minutes of the game, scored twice in the last 30 seconds to record their first-ever victory over St. Cloud Apollo.

Senior center Jamie Paul had a goal and an assist as the River Lakes Stars beat Willmar 3-0 last week to sweep their season series.

The Eagles scored three minutes into the game to take a 1-0 lead, which they held until the final minute at the River Lakes Arena in Richmond. Pulling their goalie for an extra skater, the Stars tied the game with 26 seconds to play when Johnson, a defenseman, scored during a scrum in front of the net.

With the game tied 1-1 with only seconds to play, the Stars executed a play from a faceoff. Senior center Jamie Paul won the draw, and junior defenseman Zach Dingmann made a perfect lead pass to Naujokas, a junior wing who got behind the Eagles' defense. Naujokas scored on the breakaway with four seconds to play for the winning goal.

Junior goalie Brian Skluzacek made 39 saves for the Stars, who were outshot 40-28, keeping the Stars close and setting up their last-second heroics.

boys hockey In beating St. Cloud Apollo for the first time, the Stars improved their record in the Central Lakes Conference to 3-8 this year.

Junior forward Alex Naujokas (19) scored with four seconds left as River Lakes rallied to beat St. Cloud Apollo last week 2-1, with both goals coming in the last 30 seconds.

The Stars are now 6-13 overall.

This week, the Stars hosted Sartell on Tuesday in Paynesville. On Thursday, they will travel to Fergus Falls. Next week, they will play at St. Michael-Albertville (North Wright County) on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

St. Cloud Apollo--1 0 0 - 1
River Lakes--0 0 2 - 2

Scoring Summary
First Period: SCA-Bob Roseland (Joe Hartman, Dan Rhode), 13:23;
Second Period: No scoring;
Third Period: RL-Zach Johnson (Zach Dingmann, Kurt Peterson), 0:26; RL-Alex Naujokas (Dingmann, Jamie Paul), 0:04.

River Lakes 3, Willmar 0
The Stars completed a season sweep of Willmar, recording their first sweep of a conference opponent in the Central Lakes by beating Willmar on the road 3-0.

The Stars beat the Cardinals 5-1 during their holiday tournament in Paynesville in December.

After a scoreless first period, senior defenseman Zach Johnson scored the go-ahead goal a couple minutes into the second period.

Senior center Jamie Paul scored on the power play late in the second period, assisted by linemate junior forward Alex Naujokas. Naujokas scored the Stars' final goal in the last minute of the third period, assisted by Paul and senior forward Kurt Peterson.

Naujokas and Paul led the Stars with two points each (a goal and an assist).

Willmar outshot the Stars 26-22, but junior goalie Brian Skluzacek stopped all 26 shots to record his first shutout of the year.

River Lakes--0 2 1 - 3
Willmar--0 0 0 - 0

Scoring Summary
First Period: No scoring;
Second Period: RL-Zach Johnson, 14:13; RL-Jamie Paul (Alex Naujokas, 3:36 (pp);
Third Period: RL-Naujokas (Kurt Peterson, Paul), 0:28.

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